The draft proposal was presented by the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) to the Southern Darling Downs Community Consultative Committee in Queensland to begin a public engagement program.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Federal Government and ARTC was taking positive steps to ensure communities are listened to and engaging in responsive and strategic planning.
“After months of consultation and work with landowners and stakeholders, a preliminary design has now been presented to the community for their feedback on a workable solution,” Mr McCormack said.
“Over the next two weeks, the ARTC will be presenting this preliminary design proposal to the wider community and I encourage everyone to participate in this process.
“The Inland Rail is a transformational project which will benefit regional communities and enhance economic activity, with freight transport costs set to be reduced by an estimated $10 per tonne,” he said,
Minister for Finance and the Public Service Mathias Cormann said a comprehensive design process was being followed to minimise impacts on landowners and the community and ensure efficient delivery of the Inland Rail.
The ARTC examined numerous design options, using local input and data from numerous sources including the Toowoomba Regional Council, Bureau of Meteorology and government databases, to find the best preliminary crossing design,” Mr Cormann said.
“The Inland Rail project will increase freight connectivity and improve supply chain access for our farmers and regional producers to enhance their economic sustainability and opportunities.
“We also want to ensure we continue to spend taxpayers’ dollars responsibly with proper planning processes, while maximising the potential economic opportunities from this $9.3 billion investment,” he said.
Federal Member for Groom John McVeigh said the level of community consultation undertaken by the ARTC was a core feature of the Condamine crossing’s preliminary design proposal.
“A huge amount of work has gone into this early design of the new crossing including stakeholder consultation, geotechnical work, flood modelling and environmental and hydrological assessments,” Dr McVeigh said.
“I encourage all Queenslanders to support the Inland Rail project and be involved through community consultation sessions to ensure Queenslanders can enjoy the social, environmental and economic benefits that Inland Rail will deliver for landowners and communities.”